Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blondeez Daily Diary Saturday and Party Prep

I sort of made up for lost time today by spending most of it planning, shopping, and cooking!  My parents helped by entertaining the kid and acting as prep chefs.  Some cooking for today, some for the week to come, and a lot for tomorrow, when we're having a small family party for the kid's second birthday (around 20 people--yes, for my family, that's small!).  Among the guests we have two celiac, one allergic to eggs, a couple paleo fans, one who doesn't eat beef, and one who has problems with ulcers and heartburn.  So on the one hand, most of those food preferences go together.  On the other, it was a lot to think about.

I made a gluten free devil's food cake from a mix (pics tomorrow when it's frosted!) because I couldn't justify buying the ingredients for making it from scratch when I'm not likely to use most of them in the future.  The girl who is allergic to eggs will have her own vegan dessert, thanks to her mom telling me there was no need to try to make an egg and gluten free cake.

First thing, it was high time I made breakfasts for the week.  I cleaned up the slow cooker and made steel cut oats with apples and raisins.

As long as I was chopping apples, I also whipped up some homemade apple sauce on the stove.  The kid loves it and we're working on getting more fruit into her.

By the time those were done it was about time to start dinner!  I pulled out the paleo cookbook for Moroccan Chicken, and then because my parents and the kid are anything but paleo, we added some soft polenta made in the microwave, which was super easy.  And yummy!

After dinner, I threw together more food for tomorrow.  First up, Quinoa Tabbouleh, which I'm super excited for as it's a great high-protein carb with lots of veggies, and everyone except the hardcore paleo types can eat it.

Then I marinated some drumsticks and squeezed a whole lotta lemons (from my parents' backyard) so we can have fresh lemonade tomorrow.  Can't wait!

Irish Oatmeal with Apples and Raisins (America's Test Kitchen's Slow Cooker Revolution)
Serves 8
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 4 hours
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 lb. apples (3-3), cored and shredded
  • 1/2 cup dried apples, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add oats and toast, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

Stir water, apples, dried apples, raisins, sugar, cunnamon, and salt into slow cooker.  Cover and cook until oats are softened and thickened, 4-6 hours on low.  Let oatmeal sit for 10 minutes; stir well adn swerve.  Oatmeal can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.  Reheat oatmeal either in microwave or in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Apple Sauce (The UltraMetabolism Cookbook)
Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 40 min
  •  4 large apples (about 2 lbs.) cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • small pinch allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Place the apples in a large pan with the water.  Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and cook the apples until they are soft, about 20-25 min.  When the apples are cooked, remove only the apples to the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, leaving cooking liquid in the pan.

Bring the remaining cooking liquid in the pan to a boil over high heat until it reduces to about 1 or 2 tablespoons (it is like syrup).  Add the reduced liquid from the pan to the food processor along with the cinnamon, allspice, and lemon juice, and process to the desired consistency.

 Moroccan Chicken (from Whole9 Nutrition Guide)
Serves 2-4
Cook Time: 25 min.
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking fat, divided
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, halved
  • 3-6 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb. diced chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup kalamata or black olives
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Heat 1 Tbsp. of cooking fat in a large skillet.  Saute the onion and garlic for about 3 minutes, add the spices, and saute for another 2 minutes.  Add the artichokes and tomatoes, cook for 2 more minutes, then place the mixture aside in a bowl.  Add the second Tbsp. of  cooking fat to the skillet, then add the diced chicken.  Cook for 5 minutes, turning the meat often, until the chicken is browned.  Add the veggies back in, then add the parsley, olives,, and lemon juice.  Stir and cook until the juices reduce--5 to 7 minutes.

Soft Polenta in the Microwave (credit to my mom)
Serves 4
Cook time: 15 min.
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • pinch fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. blue cheese (or other cheese, or additional butter)
Combine water, cornmeal, and salt in a microwave-safe dish (at least 6 cups).  Stir and microwave uncovered for 5 min on high.  Stir well, cover loosely with a paper towel, and microwave for another 5 minutes on high.  Stir in butter, pepper, and cheese (or butter), then let cool and thicken for at least 3 minutes before serving.

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